Sicario, directed by Denis Vilenueve, is a raw and brutal film that depicts the drug war happening between the U.S and Mexican cartels. I don’t think I’ve seen a movie that showcases the problem of drugs in the city of Juarez better than Sicario did. Juarez is one of, if not the most dangerous cities in the world, and Villenueve depicted it perfectly. It is being ravaged by cartel activity and it definitely showed in the film.
One of the tensest scenes in the film was when the lead characters were driving a convoy through Juarez. At one part they showed a pretty realistic side of Juarez that I won’t spoil but it hit me hard. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the scene. I thought that they were going to get attacked at any moment while driving through the city. I flinched at least 3 times during the movie. That doesn’t usually happen.
All of the performances were superb. Emily Blunt was pretty good as the lead in the film, but I thought that she could’ve done a better job. Throughout the movie she complained, although some of those complaints were warranted. I just thought it was a bit excessive, she should’ve expected some things to go wrong. Josh Brolin has been excellent in many of his roles in the past 5 years and I didn’t expect much less from him in this film. He played the mysterious, stereotypical American task force leader. I compared him to characters that always look like they’re going to stab someone in the back. Benicio Del Toro was by far my favorite character in Sicario. He was a soft-spoken and quiet badass. I didn’t know whose side he was actually on throughout the film. This was a good thing, it kept me guessing. As the movie went on, I could tell that his experiences had molded him into the efficient, cold-hearted killer he was. He wasn’t even shaken when he entered Juarez. It was a regular occurrence to him.
I loved the way that Denis Villenueve shot this film. He used some very interesting shots, including some that were from the top looking down that I loved. They showed a different perspective of the characters in the film. It felt like something that came out of a war film, the shots were used in a great way. Sicario also had a scene where the characters used night vision and I loved that scene. It doesn’t seem that spectacular, but seeing their viewpoints through thermal vision makes a scene more tense and realistic.
Composer Johann Johannsson worked on the Sicario soundtrack and it is excellent. He had previously worked with Villenueve on Prisoners as well. His composition fits the movie so well. Every tense scene goes along with an equally tense song. I think that Johannson is an up and coming movie composer. He has major talent and it showed in Sicario.
I liked Sicario, but I felt that something was holding it back from being great. I think the story was a little uneven. At points I didn’t really know what was going on in terms of advancing the plot, which annoyed me. I felt like it should’ve been easier to figure out what was happening throughout the movie. Also I felt that there could’ve been a little more action in the film. The action scenes in it were great, but I wanted more of them.
You should see Sicario. It is in some parts a brilliant piece of work, but there weren’t enough scenes that held up that expectation for me. I liked the film a lot, but something was missing that held it back. These complaints aside, I recommend this movie to any viewer who likes action films with good dialogue and acting. It is worth your time. I give it a 3 out of 4.